Topics Course Descriptions

Each semester, the History Department offers several "topics" courses. These are often new courses or those that cross traditional chronological and geographical divides. General Historical topics fall under HIST 301; American History topics under HIST 533; European topics under HIST 597; and Non-Western topics under HIST 598. The KSU catalog does not offer a full description of these topics classes, so we do so below.

Spring 2023 Topics Courses:

HIST 301, Sec A Topics in History - Top/Nazi Germany & the Holocaust

T U 11:30 - 12:45 p.m. Calvin 208 Maner, Brent

Topic Description: Formerly HIST 588; This course examines Germany’s turbulent history from 1918 to 1945. We will study the rise of the Nazi party as part of the transformation of political life between the end of World War I and 1933. Then we will examine the effects National Socialist policies had on politics, society, and culture. And we will consider war and violence as central components of the Nazi world view that manifested themselves in World War II and the Holocaust. **Students who have enrolled in HIST 588 cannot receive credit for this section of HIST 301.**.

HIST 301, Sec ZA Topics in History - Top/US South in Historical Perspective

100% online, asynchronous Aley, Ginette

Topic Description: In this 100% online (asynchronous) course, we will explore the U.S. South in historical perspective beginning with its original inhabitants, followed by a detailed consideration of the rise and fall of a slave-based society whose wealth, power, and influence in larger American society was undeniable and long lasting. The Civil War brought the South to its knees but did not erase the myriad racial, social, political, economic problems that had long characterized the region. We will also look at the emergence of the New South, the Civil Rights Movement, and cultural developments such as Country Music. Graded items include weekly discussion boards, 2 short papers, and a longer research paper. Global Campus Course Fees apply.

HIST 301, Sec B Topics in History - Top/Games & History

T U 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. Calvin 218 Brandom, Eric W

Topic Description: Recognizable historical events or periods provide the material or setting for many of the most popular digital games of the last decades. What does that mean? For games and for history? In order to sharpen our questions, and maybe even get some answers, we will investigate particular games and will read a selection of relevant theoretical work. We will even read a bit of history. This class is not a history of games. It is, rather, about history in games. The goal is to think more carefully about the meanings of the games we play and about what these games mean for historical consciousness-our feeling of the past-today. Students will investigate selected games in depth, and will also work toward designing their own historical games.

HIST 301, Sec C Topics in History - Top/US Immigration History

T U 3:55 - 5:10 p.m. Calvin 218 Orr, Suzanne

Topic Description: What does it mean to be an American? Beginning with the colonial period and an examination of the origins of citizenship and continuing to present day political debates about identity, we will examine the history of inclusion and exclusion in American society. Topics include how race and gender affect immigrants’ experiences, the development of restriction and deportation policy, and the policing of the U.S. border.

HIST 301, Sec D Topics in History - Top/Europe Since 1945

T U 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. Calvin 218 Maner, Brent

Topic Description: This course examines major transformations in politics and culture in Europe since 1945: reconstruction after World War II, the political economic systems of Western Europe and the Soviet bloc during the Cold War, and the dramatic changes of 1989. We will also explore the how several recent news stories—like the Brexit vote, the rise of populism, and debates about immigration and multiculturalism in Europe—can be better understood after considering their post-WWII historical context.

HIST 301, Sec E Topics in History - Top/History of Islam

T U 3:55 - 5:10 p.m. Calvin 116 Oweidat, Nadia

Topic Description: TBA

HIST 301, Sec H Topics in History - Top/The Pacific War in WWII

M W F 11:30 - 12:20 p.m. Calvin 218 Krysko, Michael

Topic Description: The Pacific War was an integral conflict fought under the larger umbrella of World War II. However, its significance to the origins, fighting, and outcome of that overall larger conflict is often overlooked and underappreciated amidst the predominant European focus so often placed on the Second World War. This course, then, offers something of a corrective to that emphasis. Throughout the semester, we will explore how the interconnected modern histories of Japan, China, and the United States led to those three nations became the primary belligerents in the Pacific War. In so doing, the course will highlight 1) how the machinations in East Asia dating back decades influenced the road to the Second World War in both Asia and Europe, 2) how the Pacific and European wars remained interconnected between 1939 and 1945, and 3) how the outcomes and consequences of the Pacific War loomed large in the global Cold War that followed in World War II’s wake.